Corzine On Obama’s Appointments: They’re People Who Are ‘Pragmatists With A Progressive Agenda’

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"Corzine On Obama’s Appointments: They’re People Who Are ‘Pragmatists With A Progressive Agenda’"

Politico reports that Barack Obama’s personnel selections are causing some consternation amongst progressives: “Liberals are growing increasingly nervous – and some just flat-out angry – that President-elect Barack Obama seems to be stiffing them on Cabinet jobs and policy choices.”

Attempting to diffuse the nervousness, Obama’s top campaign field operative Steve Hildebrand pens a response in the Huffington Post, warning that now is “not a time for the left wing” to be drawing conclusions. (Hildebrand’s argument has stirred reactions from many bloggers.)

This morning, ThinkProgress spoke with Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ), who was reportedly under consideration for a cabinet post. We asked Gov. Corzine if he had any concerns that Obama’s choices were not progressive enough:

I think President-elect Obama has done an outstanding job of picking very good people who have the ability to be pragmatists with a progressive agenda. […]

It would be hard to not say that there is an attention to a progressive agenda. But there is a recognition that governing means that you have constraints and resource constraints that have to be attended to as you go forward.

I’m a committed liberal. I’m a committed progressive myself, but I also understand that has to be balanced with what you have the capacity to do at a given point in time. And I think that’s all that’s reflected in the appointments. I think he’s selected extraordinary people.

Corzine pointed to Bill Richardson and John Podesta as evidence of progressives who surround Obama.


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During the interview, Corzine offered this advice for Obama as he considers an economic stimulus package: “The only thing that I have been arguing is, whatever big is, make it bigger.”


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,Also during the interview, Corzine argued that if we had the same sense of urgency that we do with the financial institutions, we could provide “access to affordable health care.”


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